Refs & Calcs: Riders: Cost Overruns: Most Expensive: Travel Time

References & Calculations

SOUND TRANSIT Broken Ridership Promises

SOUND TRANSIT Cost Overruns and Missed Construction Deadlines

SOUND TRANSIT Seattle Light Rail Promises vs. Reality

SOUND TRANSIT Light Rail Increases Travel Time Compared to Express Buses or BRT

  1. Sound Transit, "Sound Move -- The 10-Year Regional Transit System Plan As Adopted May 31st 1996,"
    Table 16:Rail station boardings:Seattle to SeaTac light-rail line 105,000 daily boardings, 32 million annual boardings by 2010
    Sound Move includes 25-miles of a starter light rail system
    25-miles total - 1.6 miles Tacoma = 23.4 miles Seattle (a minimum of 21 miles promised for Seattle)
    ten-year implementation-"RTA is committed to the entire system being completed and operational within 10 years," (2006)
    "Sound Move is based on extremely conservative cost and ridership assumptions"
    Table 18: Farebox recovery: Light Rail 53% (2010)

  2. Voters promised 105,000 riders/day / 21 miles = 5,000 riders/day per mile

  3. “2006 Service Implementation Plan,” Sound Transit, April 5, 2006, pg. 72. 35,821 weekday riders, / 15.7 miles = 2,282 weekday riders/mile

  4. “2009 Service Implementation Plan,” Sound Transit, May 28, 2009, pg. 121. 29,467 weekday riders, / 15.7 miles = 1,877 weekday riders/mile

  5. 2010 National Transit Database, 7.831 million trips 7.831 million trips / 305 weekday factor / 15.7 mile = 1,635 weekday riders/mile

  6. Wikipedia, "List of United States light rail systems by ridership"

  7. University Link Extension, Sound Transit website predicts 71,000 new riders for 3.15 miles by 2030, $1.9 billion cost year of expenditure

  8. 71,000 riders/3.15 miles = 22,500 weekday riders per mile Sound Transit Projections

  9. Sound Transit 2015 annual riders

    from Sound Transit Light Rail Obscene Costs , Sound Transit Seattle Light Rail Key Facts and Dataref. f11,707,604 2015 Central link boardings 11.707 million 2015 riders / 305 = 38,3833 weekday riders

  10. 38,383 riders/15.7 miles = 2,445 weekday riders per mile  Sound Transit Actual (2014)

  11. 22,500/2,445 = 9.2

  12.  FindLaw website, SANE TRANSIT v. SOUND TRANSIT, decided March 4, 2004 by the Supreme Court of Washington State

  13. Progress Report Link Light Rail, March 2015, Sound Transit, 3.15 miles, $1.948 billion

  14. Cost per mile as of 2014
    from Sound Transit Light Rail Extreme Costs , Sound Transit Voter Approved Light Rail Taxpayer Funding ,
    ref. e) 2.835 billion (2014$) / 21.0 miles = 135 million (2014$)/mile: Promised
    ref. f) 2.9315 billion (2014$) / 15.6 miles = 188 million (2014$)/mile: Reality (before University Link)

  15. Cost per mile as of 2016 (including University Link)

    (2.9315 billion (2014$) + 1.948 billion (year of expenditure))/ 15.6 + 3.15 miles = 260 million (2014$)/mile

  16. Cost per daily boarding 2014
    Promise: 2.835 billion(2014$)/(32 million rides/year)*(365 days/year)=$32,337 (2014$/daily ride)
    Reality: 2.9315 billion(2014$)/(10.9 million rides/year)*(365 days/year)=$97,714 (2014$/daily ride)

  17. Cost per daily boarding 2015 & fare recovery from Sound Transit Light Rail Extreme Costs , Sound Transit Seattle Light Rail Key Facts and Dataref. f31% fare recovery ref. g) $91,393 (2015$/daily ride)

  18. 29 mins King Count Transit 194 Express bus schedule, 2008

  19. 38 mins SeaTac to Westlake, Link weekday schedule, effective Sept 26, 2015 - Mar 25, 2016

  20. Figure 1, Average airport walk speed 265 feet/min, Young, Seth B, Transportation Research Record, 1674,  "Evaluation of Pedestrian Walking Speeds in Airport Terminals"

  21. 0.4 miles from Light rail stop to airport terminal,

  22.   0.4 miles* 5,280 ft/mile /265 feet/min = 7.97 mins to walk from Sound Transit Rail Station to Airport Terminal, (ignores elevator or escalator travel time)

  23. 200 feet estimated walking distance from ground transportation stop to airport terminal building

  24.  200 feet/265 feet/min = 0.75 mins (ignores elevator or escalator travel time.)

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